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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story



CAMBODIAN PRIME MINISTER HUN Sen and United Nations Special Representative Thomas Hammarberg are on speaking terms again. After the recent falling out over where to hold the genocide tribunal for the Khmer Rouge - three U.N. legal experts visiting Cambodia suggested the Hague and various other neutral spots; Hun Sen wants to keep the proceedings at home - Hammarberg had all but given up on an internationally acceptable trial. But on June 17 the prime minister wrote a letter asking the envoy to dispatch a fourth legal expert to help draft a law enabling foreign jurors to participate in the proceedings in Phnom Penh - a condition considered essential to the panel's impartiality. Hun Sen wants to draft the law "as soon as possible," says an international lawyer in Phnom Penh, adding that such "mixed" tribunals are "legally virgin territory." For the U.N. the developments are a sign of progress, though they fall well short of a victory since it risks being drawn into a process over which it has no ultimate control. On the other hand, it is used to that by now in Cambodia.


IN BENGALI "SOUHARDYA" MEANS friendship - a meeting of the hearts. It is an apt name for the new bus service between Calcutta, the center of Bengali culture in India, and Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. On June 19, two colorfully decorated buses rolled into Dhaka, marking the first direct road link between the two South Asian neighbors. The 70-odd passengers, including politicians, artists and writers, were received by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart A.B. Vajpayee. Hasina described the bus service as a "long-cherished desire of the common people." Vajpayee, whose bus diplomacy with Pakistan was a bust, hailed it as "just the beginning of a new era."


TIBET'S SECOND MOST REVERED spiritual leader, the nine-year-old reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, was "received warmly" last week during his first tour of Tibet as Buddhism's official "reincarnated soul boy." That, anyway, is the report from the Chinese government, which in 1995 bequeathed the title to Gyainicain Norbu, then a precocious five-year-old. To make the choice, Communist Party officials resurrected a 1792 arrangement Beijing had made with Tibetan lamas whereby the Chinese emperor invited boys to draw lots from a golden urn to determine who would lead Tibetan Buddhism. Gyainicain Norbu won the divine lottery and was subsequently whisked off to Beijing for rigorous sutra-reciting under Chinese custody. The trouble is, Tibetan clerics and the exiled Dalai Lama, using telltale markings and mystic revelations had already selected another "soul boy" - Gedhun Choeki Nyima, then six. Beijing, to head off another generation of anti-China Tibetan leadership, nabbed Nyima, who many say remains the world's youngest political prisoner. The exiled leadership questions the "warmth" of Norbu's reception in Tibet. "If there was no fear of the gun, nobody would go," scoffed a spokesman for the Dalai Lama.

This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home


U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

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